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Department of Biomedical Physiology & Kinesiology Simon Fraser University Calendar | Spring 2018

Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology

Doctor of Philosophy

The PhD graduate program in the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology uses multidisciplinary approaches to investigate fundamental properties of human structure and function that relate to health, movement, and physiology. The PhD program offers opportunity for trainees to engage in detailed and in-depth examination of novel lines of investigation in the fields of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the University admission requirements as stated in Graduate General Regulations 1.3 in the SFU Calendar. Students are admitted to a program area that is defined and determined prior to recommendation by the Department's graduate program committee. The program must be within the capabilities of the student and Department. Students must show competence in methodology relevant to proposed research.

Students may be admitted to the PhD program in Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology via one of three routes:

  • Admission to the PhD program with a Master's degree
  • Transfer from the MSc to the PhD program
  • Direct admission to the PhD program with a Bachelor's degree

Admission to the PhD Program with a Master's Degree

Students with a completed Master's degree who satisfy SFU admission requirements may be admitted to the PhD program.

Transfer from the MSc to the PhD Program

Students currently in the Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology Master's program may be considered for a transfer to the PhD program. Normally, only students enrolled in their third through sixth terms may apply to transfer to the PhD program. The graduate program committee (GPC) reviews such applications, and the GPC chair forwards a recommendation to the Dean of Graduate Studies. The decision is made by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

In addition to Graduate General Regulations 1.3.4, eligibility and the decision regarding transfer to the PhD in BPK will include the following criteria:

  • strong support letters from the senior supervisor and supervisory committee members;
  • excellent academic performance (e.g. minimum GPA of 3.67);
  • strong background in research design and statistics or modelling as appropriate to the area
  • completion of 3 of the 4 courses required by the MSc program, which must include BPK 801 and STAT 890;
  • evidence that the student is capable of completing and disseminating research. Such capability will be judged by research to date, publications, and letters from referees.

Direct Admission to the PhD Program with a Bachelor's Degree

In exceptional cases, students may be admitted to the PhD program direct from completion of a Bachelor's degree.

Program Requirements

This program consists of a comprehensive examination (BPK 896), two seminar presentations (BPK 897), and a thesis (BPK 899). Normally the supervisory committee will prescribe courses necessary to complete the student's academic preparation. However, the supervisory committee may allow the student to proceed without additional course work over and above that for a Master's degree. Students who transfer from the MSc to the PhD program are required to complete the elective course requirements for the MSc. Students who are a direct admit to the PhD program with a Bachelor's must complete BPK 801, STAT 890, and two elective graduate courses as specified for the MSc Program. Students admitted with a Master's degree are recommended to complete BPK 801.

Study and research is designed to suit the background and research objectives of each student and may differ widely from student to student.

Students must complete

a comprehensive exam

BPK 896 - PhD Comprehensive Examination (0)

The PhD comprehensive exam consists of a written research proposal, and a related oral exam conducted by the Supervisory Committee and one additional member external to the committee. The written research proposal will be written in the format of an Operating Grant application, with an eleven page limit exclusive of references, appendices, figures and tables. The proposal is to be written independently by the candidate, and should be written in enough detail to determine that the research is feasible and sufficient for PhD level work. The oral examination is designed to assess the candidate's ability to understand the underlying science and their ability to undertake the proposed research. The examining committee will explore the student's knowledge in any area that is relevant to the proposed research. The Graduate Program Committee Chair or designate will chair the examination. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

and two seminars

BPK 897 - PhD Seminar (0)

The student will present two seminars on topics approved by the student's senior supervisor. One of the seminars will be presented as a Departmental seminar in the student's last term, and will summarize, integrate, and synthesize the thesis work for the whole department. The second seminar should be at a national or international conference, or an oral presentation at BPK Research Day, and must be approved by the Graduate Program Committee Chair. BPK 897 can be repeated once.

and a thesis

Thesis Requirements

A thesis describing the PhD research must be submitted and defended at an open forum in accordance with Graduate General Regulation 1.10.

Program Length

Students are expected to complete the program requirements within fifteen terms from first enrollment, including students who have transferred from the MSc program. Time limits for program completion are governed by Graduate General Regulation 1.12.

Optional Specialization in Interdisciplinary Oncology

This specialization within the BPK PhD Program is for students who are interested in gaining exposure to diverse facets of cancer-related research. Application to the Interdisciplinary Oncology Graduate Specialization (IOGS) is through the interdisciplinary oncology steering committee. Students must fulfill all Departmental requirements for the PhD. For more information, please see Interdisciplinary Oncology Graduate Specialization requirements.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.